Ephesians 2:13-16, 21-22  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.  His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. … … In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Today’s portion of Scripture is both encouraging and challenging.

It is encouraging to those of us who are Gentile believers, because it assures us that we are included in all the blessings our faithful God promised to Abraham.  The greatest of all these blessings, of course, is the promise of a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  As the Apostle Paul reminded the Galatian churches: “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.  The Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds’, meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed’, meaning one person, who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16), and ‘Christ’, of course, is the Greek word for ‘Anointed One’, which in Hebrew is ‘Moshiach’, ie ‘Messiah!  So the long promised ‘Messiah’, who would save the Jewish people, can be our Saviour too, as we simply come to him in repentance-and-faith and put all our trust in him alone.

But it is challenging to the descendants of Abraham (Jews), because we Gentiles are now included into all the promises that they once considered exclusive to them, as God’s chosen people! The Apostle Paul, the erstwhile hard-line Jewish Pharisee, came to realise, by God’s amazing grace (cf Ephesians 2:1-10), that we are now “all one in Christ Jesus”, and that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female”, and that “if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28-29).
The early Jewish converts to Christ really struggled with this incredible reality, and even today many Jewish people who come to Christ find this hard to come to grips with, preferring to form separate ‘Messianic’ churches rather than unite with Gentile believers.  It is easy to understand this reluctance, given their deeply ingrained culture, but let us make every effort to reach out to them and help them feel a homely comfort among us so that we can all “become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him [to be] built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

– Bruce Christian